The opposition South West Zonal Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, have traded words over alleged plan to mortgaged the welfare of workers in the state to procure “favourable” judgement at the Supreme Court.
Recall that the PDP governorship candidate in the 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede, who lost to Akeredolu at both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal has proceeded to the Supreme Court to sack the governor.
Both the tribunal and the Appeal Court had thrown out Jegede’s suit for lack of merit.
However, the opposition party, through its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Sanya Atofarati, in a statement alleged that Governor Akeredolu “is currently in talk with the authorities of the Supreme Court to negotiate the allocation of the state in his favour in the yet-to-be decided governorship judgement in Ondo State.
Atofarati has, therefore, “called on labour unions in the state to rise in defence of civil servants to prevent the menace purportedly concocted by the state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to negotiating their salaries with the forthcoming Supreme Court judgement which he believes would be in favour of his party, PDP.
“It has come to our notice that the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Odunayo, has been negotiating the forthcoming Supreme Court Judgement with the State allocations just for favouritism.
“lt is imperative to make this known to the general public and particularly the State Labour Union and its members that Governor Akeredolu has been on the move to negotiate their salaries for his gains and interests by implementing this satanic means through the ongoing half-salary tactics in the state.
“Recall that during and after the appeal case judgement, there was a ploy to frustrate the appeal judgement. Even after the judgement, the appeal court reluctantly and refused to release the certified true copies of the judgement to our Party.
“Despite that, It is so unfortunate that the Governor and the APC Party are trying every possible means to win at the forthcoming Supreme Court rulings through negotiations for personal and political interests and not minding the plight of the State Civil Servants and the present predicaments of the State.
“We are calling on the masses and most especially the State Civil Servants to be aware and restrict this act of wickedness and oppression in the State.”
But in a swift response, the governor through his information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo, described the allegations as spurious.
Ojogo said the party had “merely made spurious allegations aside laying a sandy foundation ahead of the PDP’s leprous efforts at the Supreme Court.
“There could not have been a better effort at marketing helplessness occasioned by paucity of ideas and lack of direction as displayed by the press release. It showcases ignorantly, PDP’s further slide on the rough path to depression.
“Governor Akeredolu shall not, at this instance, serve as the Supreme Court’s mouthpiece in the face of the PDP’s uncanny attacks.
“It is, however, disturbing to note that a political party, ostensibly speaking for a Senior Advocate, could descend to the unpardonable abyss of branding Honourable Justices of the Apex Court ‘procurable’ items in the course of their duties to the Nation.
“The question is, for what purpose was the unpaid seven months salaries under the last PDP administration mortgaged? Of truth, workers are entitled to their wages and are indeed, right to demand legitimate entitlements. It is, all the same, heart-warming to note that the same workers are not oblivious of the current global economic straits.
“That Ondo State is not insulated from this fiscal ravage is saying the obvious.
“Yet, the Akeredolu shall not follow the path of infamy and sack workers as it was in the days of PDP. It is rather, equally more gratifying to evolve ingenious means to sail along than leave workers unpaid for months under the guise of paucity of funds.
“It is, perhaps, laughable that PDP failed to realise that its position grossly violates what it represented while it held sway in Ondo State prior to the current administration.
“The mindless audacity to owe workers seven months as well as the brazen display of executive recklessness that saw to the sack of over 1,000 workers have both combined to repudiate the opposition party’s thrive at demonizing Akeredolu and his government.
“From all indications, Ondo State does not deserve to be in the hands of these scavenging elements collectively christened PDP. The fact that the party does not know how allocations are disbursed from Abuja, dispensed and spent at the State depicts a pitifully demeaning scenario for the party.
“Alluding to a theatric ‘across-the-counter exchange of funds between a Governor and the CBN or whoever’ speaks volume of the ilk that comprises PDP.
“For the records, allocations are not paid into private accounts; they are paid into government accounts managed by relevant authorities, who are civil servants. In the case of Ondo State, stakeholders, particularly the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) play a principal role in the disbursement/allocation of funds in line with available funds.
Ojogo added that “The PDP is, therefore, admonished to focus on its appeal at the Supreme Court and pursue same with the desired legal industry and zeal rather than this voyage of self-denial and blackmail.